09/04/15 8:21pm

Phil Cefaratti, running as an Independent candidate to win a seat on the Alexandria City Council, enthusiastically announces his support for Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille to conduct a write-in campaign against Vice Mayor Allison Silberberg, winner of the Alexandria Democratic Mayoral Primary in June.

“I am not endorsing Mayor Euille, but I absolutely recognize his right to conduct a write-in campaign to win reelection, prior to his official announcement this Sunday,” said Cefaratti.

“We live in a democracy that has established rules for seeking and attaining elected office,” Cefaratti added. “Mayor Euille is using the opportunity afforded him by the legal process by supporting a grassroots write-in campaign for his reelection in November. I wish both Bill and Allison well in their campaigns as each aims to bring out the best in Alexandria, and challenges voters to decide if they want true change, or to keep things the same at City Hall.”

“As an Independent, I most certainly recognize the uphill battle facing a non-partisan candidate. I am asking for the same consideration Mayor Euille is seeking of voters in Alexandria. Voters need to look beyond party affiliation and vote for the candidates they believe will serve Alexandria best for the next three years. I believe the best council will be better served with a well-blended mix of Democrats, Republicans, and of course, an Independent (me), affording all Alexandrians a welcome voice and ear at City Hall.”

“If the people of our great city elect me to the Alexandria City Council this November, I look forward to working with the ultimate mayoral winner and other elected city councilors to help move Alexandria forward for the next three years to help reinvigorate our schools; to serve all Alexandrians as an Independent councilman, beholden to no party’s agenda, but to the people of our great city; to ensure that our children and elderly are well served; to forcefully help drive Landmark development on the West End; to manage our debt service; to strengthen our police, fire, and EMS services; and to create a more transparent City government.”

09/04/15 4:43pm

I reached out to Chris Marston, Alexandria GOP Chair, regarding Alexandria, Virginia Mayor Bill Euille’s forthcoming announcement on his write-in campaign.

“I don’t envy Clarence Tong, the chair of the local Democratic Committee. If its rules are anything like the Republican’s, his membership rolls will be shrinking dramatically. Bill Euille and anyone who makes a contribution to his campaign would lose their seat and their ability to participate in the 2016 presidential nominating process.

As for Euille’s chances, Alexandria voters are looking for change, Euille and the Democrats running for City Council are just more of the same. I’m confident that Independents and Democrats who are looking for change will come out to ensure both that Euille’s write-in campaign is unsuccessful and that Republicans are elected to Council to end one-party government and bring the changes voters seek.”

09/04/15 2:53pm

Bay Bridge

Over 972,000 Virginians to Take a Trip

AAA Travel projects 35.5 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Labor Day holiday weekend, the highest travel volume for the holiday since 2008 and a one percent increase over 2014. Locally, 972,219 Virginians plan to celebrate the holiday with a final trip before summer comes to a close, with 87 percent going by car.

The Labor Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, September 3 to Monday, September 7. Historically, when the Labor Day weekend falls later in the calendar, Americans have shown less inclination to travel. As Labor Day falls on September 7, the latest possible day it can occur, the overall travel growth potential is dampened somewhat this year.

“While strong travel numbers are great news for the industry and economy, our survey shows a decidedly ‘un-laboring’ take on the Labor Day holiday,” says Martha Mitchell Meade, Manager Public of Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Many would rather spend the holiday at cookouts, relaxing or simply at home to avoid heavy holiday traffic congestion, especially if they have already taken a vacation this summer.”

09/04/15 1:26pm


Dignitaries, corporate leaders, and politicians hand out
backpacks to preschool students in need on first day of school

The Child & Family Network Centers (CFNC), an Alexandria-based network of free, high-quality bi-lingual preschools that provide low-income children with the tools they need to succeed in school and in life, will provide backpacks to underprivileged children on Tuesday, September 8, 2015. Alexandria City Mayor Bill Euille, Alexandria City Vice Mayor Allison Silberberg, Alexandria Undersheriff Tim Gleeson, Alexandria Fire Chief Robert C. Dubé and Alexandria City Chief of Police Earl Cook along with local business executives will hand out 150 backpacks filled with school supplies to preschool-aged children on the first day of school at CFNC’s headquarters located at 3700 Wheeler Avenue in Alexandria, VA from 9:15 AM to 9:30 AM.

CFNC ensures that children of the working poor have access to preschool so that they start elementary school on par with their classmates. “It costs CFNC $ 10,000 to provide a preschool education for one year for one at-risk child. We are extremely grateful for the $3,000 in funding we receive per child from the Virginia Preschool Initiative and can’t thank the individuals, foundations and corporations who help us fill that $7,000 gap in funding per child each year enough,” said Lissette Bishins, CEO of The Child & Family Network Centers. “We are also very grateful for the support of the City of Alexandria, the Alexandria City Public Schools, and the community in general who have come together to support early childhood education for low-income families in Alexandria.”

The Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI) is the state preschool program for at-risk four year-olds who are not served by the federal Head Start preschool program. VPI has a proven track record of success. Students who participate in VPI are more likely to be prepared for kindergarten than their peers who did not attend preschool. Students who participate in VPI are the least likely to need additional literacy intervention when they enter school compared to students from other preschool programs or students who did not attend preschool.

Alexandria is one of seven Virginia localities where private providers partner with the school system and other local departments to offer VPI to at-risk students. State legislators are currently reviewing policy proposals to encourage the involvement of private providers throughout the state. Alexandria has a long history of partnering with the private sector to provide preschool experiences. Over half of the VPI students in Alexandria are enrolled in privately operated centers. The bulk of which attend CFNC.

CFNC wishes to thank our corporate sponsors for making this event possible. Columbia Capital, LCOR, Steptoe & Johnson LLP, Cotton & Company, American Advertising Distributors of Northern Virginia, Kaiser Permanente, Cypress International,Dominion Power, In-Kindness, and Regulatory Economics Group.

09/04/15 11:53am


Performance in Math & Writing Improves, Reading Steady

Virginia public school graduates in 2015 continued to buck a multiyear, nationwide trend of lower achievement on the SAT college-admissions test by posting gains in mathematics and writing while maintaining their performance level in reading.

The College Board, which publishes the SAT, reported today that the average scores for public school graduates in the commonwealth rose by one point in mathematics, by two points in writing and held steady in reading. Nationwide, achievement declined in all three subjects on the SAT.

Sixty-eight percent of Virginia’s 2015 public school graduates took the SAT, which is, by far, the predominant admissions test in Virginia, and therefore is a key indicator of the effectiveness of schools in preparing students for the first year of college.

“More important than a one-year change is the long-term trend,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Steven R. Staples said. “The performance of Virginia students on the SAT during the last five years provides additional evidence that the efforts of teachers and other educators to help students meet Virginia’s high expectations are producing real gains in learning and achievement.”


09/04/15 11:32am

pedestrian_auto_accident_01_blue_300The victim of yesterday’s fatal pedestrian crash has been identified as Deborah Ann Bogart, 60, of Alexandria.

The vehicle and driver involved in this incident have been identified.

Anyone who was in the area between 9:00 AM and 9:30 AM yesterday morning and witnessed anything unusual or who has any information related to this incident is asked to call Investigator Barrett 703.746.6873.

09/04/15 11:21am


Donors Choose is a program through which teachers can raise funds through the community for programs or classroom supplies. I saw a segment about Donors Choose on NBC Nightly News this past week. One teacher has raised tens of thousands of dollars for her classroom over the past few years.

ACPS currently has dozens of classrooms requesting funding on Donors Choose.org. Click on the link and find your child’s class project. If that is funded, please consider choosing another. I helped get my son’s teachers project at Lyles Crouch Traditional Academy fully funded. I have given back, will you? Please consider donating if you can.

This Back-to-School fundraising blitz is being coordinated with local businesses, local government, local media as well as PTAs and school newsletters to raise awareness that dozens of ACPS classrooms registered online are in need of the community’s support.

This Back to School Blitz has no deadline.  The school system and local PTAs are just trying to really raise awareness over the first two weeks of school so that we can help teachers get their project fully funded and then move on. The more we raise awareness about this effort and to pass on to others in our community, the better all of our teachers will be funded.